There are pros and cons to spending your workday in the driver’s seat. America’s highways offer gorgeous landscapes and unique attractions. Unfortunately, long drives can take their toll on your body and mind. Losing focus on the road puts you, your rig, and everyone you pass in danger. If the long hours behind the wheel start to affect you, there are a few solutions to keep yourself awake and focused. Check out these tips for how to keep your mind alert during long drives.

Recognize the Signs of Drowsiness

It’s important to recognize when you’re starting to lose focus on the road. If you catch yourself feeling drowsy, you can make the proper adjustments to wake yourself up or take a break if you need it. Check in on yourself throughout your trip, and pay attention to any signs of drowsiness, such as:

  • Heavy eyelids or frequent blinking
  • Wandering or distracted thoughts
  • Trouble remembering the last few miles
  • Drifting from your lane or hitting the rumble strip

If you start to experience these symptoms, it might be time to pull over. Don’t try to keep going while you’re tired. It’s better to take a break than to continue driving while drowsy or distracted.

Keep a Regular Sleep Schedule

Just because you’re on the road doesn’t mean you should mess with your sleep schedule. Don’t drive late at night or early in the morning if you’re usually asleep during that time. Similarly, don’t try to drive on only a few hours of sleep. Make sure you stick to a regular, restful sleep schedule. If being stuck behind the wheel all day makes you restless at night, find ways to get rid of that extra energy before bed. Regular exercise is a great way to use that energy and help your body fall asleep easier at night.

Keep Your Mind Occupied

It’s easy to get bored when you’re alone on the road. Find ways to occupy your mind so that boredom doesn’t lead to a lack of focus. Listening to music, audiobooks, or podcasts is one of the most common tips for how to keep your mind alert during long drives. You can even use this time to learn something new. There are plenty of books, informational podcasts, and other audio programs that can help you learn a new language or pursue topics that interest you. Take advantage of the time you spend alone by learning something new and fascinating.

When you take care of yourself on the road, you set yourself up for success in every trucking or RV trailer hauling job. Find your next great gig by joining the group at Star Fleet today.